“American Idol” got off to an early start during the American Music Awards live broadcast Sunday night (Nov. 19) as the public was given a rare opportunity to override the judges panel and award one of three hopefuls a Golden Ticket to Hollywood.
“Tonight the ‘American Idol’ journey begins,” said “American Idol” host Ryan Seacrest in the first spot that aired during the show. “Right here, right now. This is ‘American Idol.’”
Seacrest explained that the three singers did not make it through to the next round, but a second chance would be granted via public fan vote, which will be tabulated until the voting closes. The results will be revealed on Monday night on “Dancing with the Stars.”
Voters at home were given the power to select one of three contestants — each individually introduced by judges Katy Perry, Luke Bryan, and Lionel Richie — to advance.
First up was Britney Holmes, a 28-year-old Texas vocal coach from Aubrey, Tex. Holmes was introduced by Perry before she sang a few lines of “Let it Go,” by James Bay.
“She came to audition in Nashville, and she had an incredible voice,” Perry said. “We want to give her one more shot.”
In Holmes’ full audition — available on the American Idol website — she is accompanied by a piano and standing center stage. Dressed simply in a yellow top and torn jeans, Holmes gave a sweet and nuanced version of the song, holding the last note in a soft fade.
18-year-old Maris from Missoula, Mont. auditioned in New York, according to Bryan.
“She is someone that didn’t quite make it, but she was somebody I wanted to bring back,” he said in the longer version of the audition in an online video.
Dressed in a black jacket and black checked pants, Maris took a big gamble performing the 1961 Etta James/Riley Hampton-penned torch song “Fool That I Am.” Maris, with her short, stylish hair and a flair for dramatic presentation, has the makings of an interesting contestant.
Dominique Smith, age 21, from Brooklyn, N.Y., completed the performances with an introduction by Richie, who said that “her voice just blew us away.”
“We had to bring her back,” he said.
Smith — who chose a classic pink dress and heels — wrapped her soulful voice around Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” (first performed on Season 10 by third-place runner-up Haley Reinhart) for an audition that was classic “Idol.”
The fate of all three singers hang in the balance tonight, with the public now given the chance to vote online at AmericanIdol.com/Vote.
“Let’s make some dreams come true,” said AMA host Tracee Ellis Ross.
“American Idol” is set to premiere March 11 p.m. EST on ABC.